Upper Limbs Interactive Learning Objects

Publication ID Published Volume
7879 October 27, 2010 6


These interactive learning objects are comprised of Flash files related to upper limbs anatomy. Each learning object is (1) anchored by the learning objectives and (2) interactive. For example, the cadaver lab learning objects require learners to identify anatomical structures on cadaver photographs. Checkboxes with structure names require students to cognitively process the information provided in order to identify the correct anatomical structure. Correct/Incorrect feedback is provided to the student upon selection of a structure.
This feedback to the student completes the interaction loop. For the learning object to be truly interactive in the educational context it needs to (1) challenge learners to cognitively process basic science information in order to make a decision and (2) provide immediate feedback about that decision.

While not feasible to simulate psychomotor skills, it is possible to simulate the cognitive and affective domains of the learning objectives. Students are challenged to choose a correct answer in the learning objects; thereby eliciting cognitive processing of the subject matter which simulates the cognitive processing that occurs in the cadaver lab. The intended audience is comprised of instructors and students in pre-medical, pre-dental, nursing, and related curricula.

We have not conducted a formal study of the effectiveness of the course materials; however anecdotal evidence indicates that students value and appreciate the interactive learning objects. Also, anatomy courses with a lab are in much demand as prerequisite to many graduate and professional programs. Our lecture and lab courses are accepted by all professional schools, and our enrollment increases every semester.


Walker E, Allen E, Kraszpulska B, Billings H. Upper limbs interactive learning objects. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2010;6:7879. http://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.7879

Educational Objectives

  1. To be able to identify structures of the upper limb appendicular skeleton.
  2. To be able to become familiar with the compartments of arm, forearm and hand.
  3. To be able to know the major muscles, nerves, arteries and veins in each compartment.
  4. To be able to become familiar with the synovial joints- shoulder, elbow, and wrist.


  • Computer-Assisted Instruction, Upper Extremity, Cadaver

Prior Scholarly Dissemination


  1. Health Sciences E-Education: Teaching Virtual Anatomy Labs. Elizabeth Walker, Barbara Kraszpulska, Edwin Allen, and Aurelio Gomes. Peer reviewed and presented at the Fourth Pan Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning, Oct.30 - Nov. 3, 2006 in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
  2. Virtual Anatomy Labs for Pre-Professional Health Sciences Students. E.R.Walker, B.Kraszpulska, J.Altemus, E.Allen, P.Klinkhachorn, H.Ressetar, W. Beresford. Poster presented at the American Association of Anatomists, April, 2007 Washington DC.

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